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Taipei with kids

9 Mar

I got the why Taiwan? Alot when I told friends I was heading to Taiwan for holiday. Most of my friends said that they and most people they knew went to Taiwan mainly for food so like what ate you Muslim people gonna have in Taiwan. 

I nervously shared that I’ve done my homework and it seems Taipei is pretty Muslim friendly. You know what else? They even have hotels with halal food to cater to Muslim tourist. 

Another thing about Taiwan is that they are quite tourists oriented so they have tourist information counter at many places. Unlike other ‘Chinese speaking countries’ the Taiwanese can speak generally good English. 

What I encountered when researching for my trip was the lack of information for Muslim families with young children travelling to Taiwan. There were loads of information on Taiwan fit families with kids, singles and couples. 

So what I decided to do is blog more details of my Taipei trip to Insyallah help others like us. 

I wish I had more of this

4 Feb

And I’m also glad I that I didn’t do anything to make it disappear. 

DS1 imagination. I had the opportunity to send and fetch him from school when he shared with me what happened in school. I saw the look of pure happiness on his face when he saw me outside the glass door of his school. He said “I can see some men working outside” while we were riding the bus home. “there they’re on the road” and “they’re so cute ummi” 

While we were walking home, I told him that his grandpa, who is his favourite person in my in-laws place, was not at home. He said “there datok, there on the wall there!” I laughed as we made our way home…

In the past I used to pretend we were lying down in our tents and watching the stars in the sky while we were in one of the rooms at home. It’s so fun he loves all the pretend play. 

NZ:Takaka, Tasman 

27 Dec

I woke up bright and early to do my prayers. It’s bright by 6am and fajr is around 4am. 

I had some time to myself to explore the garden in front of our cottage, take in the fresh air and enjoy the melodious sounds of the birds chirping until the cold (13 degrees) got to me. 

I layered up, got dressed then headed out to town to get groceries and fuel up. The fuel tank was empty! 

When I arrived home, ds2 was just stirring and slowly waking up. I layered him and ds1 who woke up soon after and out we went to explore the garden.

We walked barefoot on the damp grass, ds1 brought his toys to play in the grass, we watched birds. Ds1 enjoyed it running in and out of the cottage. 

Cooked some fish soup for us all and porridge for the baby after I sertu the kitchen. We headed out after our lunch.

The kids were having a nice time playing and having their breakfast while I watched them from the kitchen window, while I was cooking. We felt right at home in this airbnb in Rangiheata, Takaka. 

Yuriko and Michael were wonderful hosts who gave us our space and freedom as they went on their own work in their garden and farm. Now I wished I took more photos of their place; very nicely decorated with flowers, trees, gardens, gravel driveways, a goat and 5 black chickens. 

Well it’s a balance between enjoying the experience and being busy recording the beautiful experience and I chose the former in the essence of time. 

We headed out for a bit to Waikoropupu springs, tata beach and pohara beach.

Ummi don’t go to work

21 Dec

Now it’s the holidays, the first part of the holiday was spent in NZ and we’ve been having around 3-4 days work week for the rest of the year.

Ds2 has been more clingy of late, not wanting me to go to work. Yesterday, he was asleep when I left for work and boy was he disappointed when he woke up. 

Today, he rushed out of the room while I was praying subh, went back to bed yo lie then. I think he was afraid we have left for work again. After I changed into work clothes he asked why ummi change?  I asked him what should I wear and he said the purple dress ( home clothes I changed out of). 

He kept asking me to stay and play with him and that he does not want yo study with Emma and that instead he wants to do art n craft. I said we can do a simple craft now but he couldn’t find cardboard. I said I’ll think of some ideas and we’ll do a craft at night. 

He was not really convinced. 

Just as I was about to leave, he carried his father’s work bag and said he was going to work with me. And below is his serious work face.

NZ: Christchurch to Takaka 6-8 hours

15 Dec

​It sounds crazy and it was. I would not recommend driving for more than 3 hours especially if you just arrived in NZ. Takaka was a last minute plan because of the earthquake in NZ on 13 November thus we had just 4 days to assess the situation, check which parts of the itinerary we wanted to change, make cancellations, try to get refund and make new plans. I hate making last minute changes because I didn’t have time to thoroughly think through the plan and check it’s feasibility. We were also driven by fear, we wanted to be as far away as possible from the East Coast where the earthquake affected most. 

I must say though I realised through the last minute frenzy, my and my husband worked well as a team in times of crisis. Alas it was not the best plan. We learn together as well.

We had to stop by at Culvedron to buy groceries as the supermarket near Takaka closes by 6pm. We had some sandwiches and biscuits all the way. Thinking back I wondered how the kids managed to keep still (mostly anyway) throughout the journey. We stopped once more for me to nurse ds2. And then it was 5 hours non-stop from bright sky to darkness (really pitch black) through mountainous terrains and curvy roads. 

I recall wanting to give up because I was so tired and my eyes were begging to rest but I persisted because there were no other choice. 

My kids drifted in and out of sleep while the husband directed me using his map so I know whether we had a straight or curvy stretch if Road ahead of us. 

When we eventually reached at 12am, I collapsed into the warm bed and slept like a baby ( after bathing the kids, layering them up with fleece, gloves and socks, preparing a dinner of tuna and bread for us adults, feeding ds1 cereal).

I don’t know where this photo was taken but landscape is as beautiful as the above photo until it got dark at 9pm.
More photos to come in the next few posts!

Adventure Cove

12 Dec

The only photo we got of the whole gang (my sister in law was the photographer). 

There was something for everyone. Being at a waterpark brought back memories of visiting waterparks such as fantasy island and wild wild wet as a child with my cousins, aunties and uncles. Now it’s time for my kids to visit waterparks with their cousins. They were too young to enjoy the big slides but they had a whole lot of fun at the kids playground which was pretty fun. 

My brave little 3 year old is not so little anymore and he even went on big slides on his own! We started with slides with ummi and ayah then it seems he told his ayah that he wanted to go on his own and did so after I left to change the baby. 

The lazy pool aka adventure pool was great fun as we saw dolphins, stingrays and eagle rays as well as reef fish. 

The fathers did the adventure courses. If the water was not 4 metres deep, I would have bluffed my way and gone to get the adrenaline rush on the adventure course. I have to learn to swim soon otherwise. I think I can swim but not much. 

The mothers dragged Mukhlis to go snorkeling at rainbow reef. Mukhlis initially was excited that he met the heights requirements to go for the snorkeling but after he realised that he was the only kid with the 2 mothers he chickened out. We practically dragged him with us and the poor boy learned the hard way to breathe with snorkel. After a while, he got excited that there were fishes below us. His verdict after snorkeling- not fun. At least he tried and I hope won’t have a phobia of snorkeling. 
To the children’s playground we went till the end of the evening. 

Now I know why the first born inevitably gets more

15 Dec

After having the second child, it’s like you’ve got even lesser time on your hands. Previously, when the baby is having a nap, we take a breather. Now when baby is having a nap, we spend time with the other one.

There was so much to blog about, my dear son’s no. 2 (ds2) milestones and development, beautiful moments with my ds1 and everything in between. We recently made a trip to the neighbouring country which was an adventure to say the least. And I thought travelling by an express bus to Kuala Lumpur would be a breeze with 2 young children, boy was I kidding myself since I wanted to travel so badly.

Now it’s back to work and my ds1 will say this when I bid him my farewell before leaving for work, ” ummi, why do you have to work? Ummi don’t go to work” a question I ask myself everytime but can go away with not answering it. This time, I could feel how inadequate and unconvincing my reasons were.

I also return home during lunch because ds2 doesn’t drink from the bottle yet, which I hope he does soon. It’s heart wrenching to see my ds1 looking at me with a sad look about him, the way he will try to get my attention the whole time I was at home trying to feed his little brother, he’ll turn solemn and quiet when I say I’m leaving back to work. The baby clearly shares his discontentment by staring at me hard as I nurse him.

The sg50 gifts

10 Sep

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Gifts from the posb bag and Kkh bag.

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Gifts from sg50 bag.

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Gifts from ward 84 for exclusively breastfeeding during my stay at Kkh.

Alhamdulilah 🙂

Our date with the second-born

10 Sep

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We went nearby to the newly halal establishment, Fix Grill @ hometeam NS. The food wasn’t that great, I feel thirsty now while blogging. The place was too cold. I like the set up but not very comfortable either.

And our conversation on a couple date was on children’s care taking issues. 5 years after marriage and 2 kids later that’s what it looks like. Not complaining, just saying. I wonder what our conversation would be like when we are old…Insyallah till Jannah. Ameen.

My first born

30 Aug

I brought him for his gym class today because his father had a family event to attend.

I realised just how tiring it was for me perhaps because I just gave birth to a child 3 weeks back or maybe I’m just not very fit. I had fun though but yea to others it might appear like I cannot handle my own child because he was trying to cut the queue, he kept running away from me, he found a ball and a girl took it when he was playing throw it around and they ended up in a tug of ball and I asked him to give it.

What was amazing was he didn’t pinch anyone or push or snatch. I did give him a brief reminder before class to share and play with all his friends. The kids in his class are around his age so there is a lesser tendency for pinching or pushing unlike open gym when the younger babies are usually the targets. Just like poor little syukri at home.

Of late though he expresses more than aggression towards syukri, he attempts to hug and kiss the hand. Even in his attempts he tends to be a little rough.

As I watched him during the separation time where parents just sit and watch as kids play toys together with teachers, I realised he is just so special and I should love all of him including his aggressive side.

He follows instructions well and he didn’t snatch any toys and didn’t push his way to get space on the floor with the toys. After separation time, he went to sit next to the teacher on his own, didn’t look for me first. I realised how young he was and how he needed us.

I made sure to praise him for behaving well in gym class and being the wonderful little boy he is.

When I brought him out a few days back, he didn’t ask me to carry him either. It’s like he know ummi can’t carry him too much. He is just so considerate. He would climb the bus and enter mrt trains on his own, being careful with the steps and the gaps.

It struck me a few days back that my little boy has grown so fast. He can even problem solve! He enjoys listening to me share stories of my travels and sometimes I would tell him about things around us at lengths and he would listen quietly. He is also doing much more at the gym! Alhamdulilah 🙂

He is able to cycle his tricycle and skate on the skate scooter now.

I love you to the moon and back and much much more!

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